Tori held a question and answer session or round table discussion with several students in Columbus, OH on Saturday, November 23, 2002 at the Palace Theatre. Tori was already in town to perform in Columbus for her On Scarlet's Walk tour. Below you can find details about the event and a photo of Tori with the participants from Toriphile Ryan O'Neil, who took part, as well as an article about this from the November 25, 2002 edition of the Ohio State University newspaper The Lantern.
Photo of Tori with the students who took part in the question & Answer session in Columbus, OH. Click to see larger.
From Ryan O'Neil:
I just read your review of the Columbus show and got chills when you mentioned Tori's improv before Sugar... , "Sometimes I think of you, let you in, But you're not on this Earth. You are not on this Earth but I let you in." I can shed some light on your question as to what made Tori sing that with such an overwhelming intensity. The afternoon of the show I was given the opportunity to participate in a question and answer session with Tori. There were only about 10 people present and we each got to ask Tori one question. My question was about Kevin Aucoin. I asked Tori how his death has effected her work, this tour, this album (in particular the song "Taxi Ride" which has become Kevin's song ) and most importantly her life and relationships. While I do not want to give the specifics of her response I can tell you it was very very emotional. When she sang that intro to Sugar I knew it was a tribute to Kevin.
I have attached a picture from the meeting with Tori... (see above) Feel free to post this picture if you wish. This picture was taken by a member of Sony's street team.
Another important point you might mention were Tori's powerful parting words to us. She said with reference to all that is going in the world and in our Country that it is time for my generation (I'm 21) to harness our power and "pick up the torch". She then pointed out that like Amber Waves we will be left with the decisions we have made and we may not be proud of them.
From the November 25, 2002 edition of the Ohio State University newspaper The Lantern:
Thanks to Julie Debord and Ryan O'Neil for sending me this article.
Amos bleeds 'Scarlet' during Palace performance By Christa Gable
The Palace Theater welcomed music royalty Saturday night when, stopping in Columbus as part of her "Scarlet's Walk" tour, Tori Amos gave an overwhelming and truly ineffable performance.
"The show was amazing and the venue and light show made it even better," said audience member Jennie Edwards. "She played a lot of her new material, but still gave a few eclectic remembrances of 'Little Earthquakes' and 'Under the Pink.' "
Before the show, Amos held an intimate discussion with a group of fans. Two of the nine group members were students in the women's studies program at Ohio State. Sitting in a red velvet chair dressed in jeans and a blouse, Amos answered questions about motherhood, our country and her new album, "Scarlet's Walk."
"Motherhood affects you in ways you don't even realize," Amos said. "Being a mother means that you can't be the one that is in the center -- the needy one all the time. You become this sort of nurturing protective force."
Amos also compared motherhood to the Sept. 11 attacks with passion. She said the country is our mother, and when the cities were burning that day we realized our mother was in trouble.
She spoke about Scarlet -- the character whose stories are told in "Scarlet's Walk" -- and said after learning who Scarlet was (creating her really), she translated her stories into this album. She said Scarlet is every woman that America is personified through and paralleled Scarlet's decisions in the song "Amber Waves" to those of her generation and the generation of the students in the room.
"Your generation and my generation have to uphold the decisions that were made when we were little and that are being made today," Amos said. "The point of this is that the university generation has not harnessed its power, and you are the ones that are going to be left with the decisions very much like 'Amber Waves.' "
Amos said her experience on Sept. 11 and her experiences touring America after the attacks influenced the arrival of Scarlet.
"Had I not been out in America last year touring, I don't think I would have written it. If I weren't a mother I don't think I would have thought about my country as a mother, and had I not been in New York City that day I would not have smelled her burning," she said. "Scarlet was coming whether I wanted to write her or not."
Following the discussion, Amos posed for some pictures with the group and thanked them for participating. Although the musical raconteur left the room, her intensity, intoxicating words, and the piercing stare of her green eyes were forever implanted into the hearts of her adoring fans.
When evening came, audience members packed into the theater for the sold-out show. Howie Day opened the show, performing as a "one man band" in every sense of the term. This troubadour used foot pedals and digital looping to play back the percussion, bass and second guitar sequences he created moments prior, using only his guitar. His voice was powerful and superb, and he received an explosive applause after he ended his set.
Just a few minutes past 9 p.m., Amos walked on stage, sat at her piano, and played the 44-second song, "Wampum Prayer," before playing her latest single, "A Sorta Fairytale." She belted out the song's involved lyrics while gazing fiercely into the audience as if she could read their minds.
Next Amos played "Little Earthquakes" and then took a minute to introduce bass player John Evans and drummer Matt Chamberlain. She also lightly teased the audience about their next stop on the tour.
"We are in a town with a victor tonight," she said. "We will be in Detroit tomorrow ... we'll make it good for them too."
Seducing the theater with her enchanting voice, Amos played "Pancake" and then played "Space Dog" from her 1994 album "Under the Pink." After playing "Sweet Sangria," "Sugar," "Black Dove," and "Wednesday," Amos' band mates left the stage, leaving her alone to perform the next three songs.
She performed the romantically torturous ballad, "China" while yellow and red lights beamed on her. She sang "Sometimes I think you want me to touch you, how can I when you build this Great Wall around you," exaggerating her fervor in a soft voice.
She continued her solo performance with "Never Seen Blue" and "Twinkle," before Evans and Chamberlain joined her again. When she played "Cornflake Girl" -- one of her most commercially successful songs -- the chandeliers at the Palace Theater shook. She sang aggressively and stomped her feet to the ambient energy she was creating with the piano.
"Don't Make Me Come To Vegas" and "Amber Waves" were played next, and when the crowd heard the high, entrancing notes of Amos' next song, "Precious Things," they started to cheer. Her fingers seizured against the piano keys, building anticipation for the chorus, "These precious things, let them break, let them wash away."
Amos ended her performance with "I Can't See New York" and "Spring Haze" before returning for the first of two encores with "Taxi Ride," "Take to the Sky" and "Horses." She performed the soothing song, "Tear in Your Hand" for her final encore and as she sang, "It's time to wave good-bye now," audience members cheered and one member yelled, "Never!"
"She's a giant at the piano," said fan Maggie Pettit. "I was surprised at how much she played from 'Little Earthquakes.' When she played 'Precious Things' I don't think she even realized anyone else was in the room."